In a recent blog post, we highlighted the three essentials of stellar customer service. In the next few weeks, we’ll explore each of these essentials and why they make a difference for hiring organizations such as attractions, theme parks, and other customer-focused industries.

Welcoming the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions!

This is the time of year when the weather’s a little cooler and the days become shorter. It’s also the time of year when over 4,000 attractions industry professionals from ninety countries gather together to learn, network, and share ideas at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo, a trade show like none other. What better place for the 2016 IAAPA Expo to convene than Orlando, Florida, home to some of the world’s most beloved and state of the art theme parks and resorts. And what better time to talk about the essentials of service excellence and how to hire the best talent to serve your guests.

People – the Secret to Success

Today’s theme parks and attractions are capable of taking tourists on adventures ranging from exotic locales, to imaginary worlds, and to outer space and beyond—as long as their lap restraints are secure and their hands remain in the vehicle at all times.

The creative and technical support necessary to imagine, build, staff, and maintain theme parks cuts across every industry known to man. And the attractions industry as we know it today has grown to include resorts, water parks, museums, zoos, family entertainment centers, industry manufacturers, and suppliers.

For insight into what makes the attractions industry so successful, one need look no further than the person whose name has become synonymous with the attractions industry.

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world.
But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
—Walt Disney

The First Key to Stellar Guest Experiences

So what are top employers’ keys to stellar guest experiences? If you’re thinking friendliness—being enthusiastic, easy to talk to, and approachable—you’re on the right track. But it’s not enough that an employee possess a friendly demeanor. People may have a friendly personality and still fall short in delivering a stellar experience for guests. Employees may hear the same question repeated a hundred times a day, yet to provide stellar service, their response must remain as fresh and helpful at the end of the day as it did at the beginning. Just like in any business, the ability to welcome strangers, meet their needs, and exceed their expectations is the hallmark of good service.

Employees who are consistently friendly, courteous, empathetic, and approachable help you build strong teams and loyal customer relationships.

Serving External and Internal Customers

Having worked in the attractions and entertainment industry myself for more than 20 years, I have experienced the importance of friendly employees with strong interpersonal skills–not just toward external customers (guests), but also with internal customers (team members). Friendliness is the bond that fosters communication, teamwork, and harmony in the workplace that transcends simply being friends. Friendliness enables an otherwise disparate group of team members with diverse backgrounds to work together as a complete unit to interact with and entertain guests. On demand. Come rain or shine.

Friendliness builds bridges between coworkers and customers by creating doors where only walls previously existed. Effective interpersonal skills also grease the wheels in organizations of all sizes and ensure cooperation between departments.

Next week we’ll take a look at the second trait that leads to stellar customer service, even in the face of unexpected challenges.

To help you hire the right people to create stellar guest experiences, check out Employment Technologies’ award-winning EASy Simulation® Virtual Customer!


Clay Rivers has worked in the attractions and entertainment industry for more than 20 years. He is an author and writer whose works have appeared in The New York Times and the innovative Medium publication, The Mission.